Dear Porky and Buddy,
My dog, Sheba, has been limping a little for the past few days and I was reading on the internet that I should try just giving her some pain medication on my own to see if she gets over it before I spend a lot of money taking her to the vet. I do that when she throws up, which she does every once in a while. I give her Pepto-Bismol and it seems to settle her stomach. Do you think this is OK. Obviously, if the pain doesn’t go away soon, I will call the vet then.
OK, we got that out of our system. But here’s the thing. Human medications are structured for the human digestive system and its capabilities.
Even though dogs have similar digestive systems, they are not identical and thus do not process medication the same way humans do.
For instance, aspirin is widely used and effective in human bodies.
But dogs and cats lack the ability to detoxify and dispense the drug from their bodies as quickly as humans can, resulting in gastroenteris, which causes vomiting blood.
Ibuprofen, a common human pain reliever, is not readily given to dogs because the dog’s liver cannot filter it as the human liver can.
The human system will filter the drug, resulting in drug circulation rather than buildup.
The dog system will not allow for circulation of the drug and causes buildup that brings about diarrhea, vomiting and, eventually, coma.
So what exactly have you given poor Sheba?
Just as important, symptoms such a limping or vomiting, especially if they happen frequently, can be signs of the development of very serious diseases.
Your vet knows this.
She may well tell you that it’s OK to give a dog acetaminophen for pain, or Pepto-Bismol for an occasional upset stomach.
But probably not without a thorough examination to rule out serious problems.
That’s why she spent a lot of money to go to veterinary school and that expertise is what you pay her for.
So call your vet today and pay.
If you want to diagnose and treat yourself over the internet that is your choice.
But, honestly Steve, Sheba deserves better.
The Oswego County Humane Society provides spay/neuter services and assistance, fostering and adoption of animals in urgent need, humane education programs, and information and referrals to animal lovers throughout Oswego County.
Our office is located at 265 W. First St., Oswego, NY.
Phone (315) 207-1070.
Email: [email protected]
Because People and Pets Are Good for Each Other.